JP Yogan Yalu & Etan Iljor (embodying Edanne Yalu) — Watch it grow, Part 2

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Michael Meir-Wright

Apr 17, 2021, 8:19:50 PM4/17/21

(( Symbiosis Institute Compound, Leran Manev, Trill  — Sunday afternoon ))

Yogan looked down at their hands, his somewhat dwarfing Iljor’s.  Edanne spoke plainly, without pretence or performance.  To Yogan, she was the embodiment of the old adage, “bloom where you are planted,” something which didn’t come naturally to him.  The last decade of his life had been the pursuit of one goal after another:  university, Joining, Starfleet, promotion.  Now, looking back, all of his accomplishments had the unintended consequence of leaving so much unaccomplished.

Yalu: You’re right.  Coming back home and seeing my family again made me realize how much I took for granted.  I always thought there would be plenty of time to–– ::beat:: I don’t know.  Whatever I thought, I was wrong.

Edanne nodded sadly. As fulfilling as her life had been, it had been too brief- like an ember of a fire, burning bright and fast. She remembered the last moments of her life all too clearly. Her ankle giving way as she stepped over a stile. A sharp crack at the back of her head. Then nothing. Nothing until Yalu was transferred into the next host and she realised with great sadness that she was nothing more than memories and residual synaptic pathways that would be resurrected once in a host's  life time.

While she relished those moments to connect to another, the idea that she would never again see her husband or her children's faces haunted her, like a spectre at the back of her mind.

Etan (as E. Yalu): My life ended too quickly. And all because I couldn't keep my footing on a stile. ::a short, mirthless chuckle escaped her lips.:: I never got to see that harvest, I never saw my husband or children again. I never got to spend another morning drinking coffee in the village with my friends. ::beat:: That's why you have to live every moment as if it was your last, Yogan. Because it very well could be. ::her voice became imploring.:: Humans have a saying don't they? Seize the day?

Yalu: ::chuckles:: I think that’s what they say.

The Trill and the Trill-embodying Bajoran sat in silence for a long moment, which gave Yogan pause to ponder the circumstances of Edanne’s life and death.  Among his seven previous hosts, Edanne wasn’t unique in that she passed away prematurely.  Keroga had been only 27 when she lost her years-long struggle with despair and depression.  Auzell was 34 when she was mortally wounded in a battle with the Dominion.  Of the seven, Edanne was the only one whose death was the result of a pure accident.  A single misstep that cut her life short and left behind a widowed husband and two young children.

Yalu:  It must be difficult for you, in a way.  To come back again and again, interacting with new hosts as they live out their lives, when there was so much left unfinished when you died.  I– ::beat:: I don’t know what to say.

Edanne felt the stirring of Iljor consciousness. He seemed perturbed by her encouragement, but in a vaguely amused way.

Etan (as E. Yalu): The young man who kindly gave his body to me seems to be…. concerned about the advice I just gave. I think you have quite the caring friend. He feels like you are his big brother. ::it was heartwarming.:: Did you know that?

Yogan raised his eyebrows in surprise, with a bit of confusion mixed in.  On an intellectual level, he understood that Iljor would be fully present and aware throughout the experience, but he hadn’t made the connection that he and Edanne would be sharing consciousness as a result.  During his encounter with Zedro, his brother seemed to vanish completely beneath the embodiment of the host until the memories were transferred back.  Only after a moment did he process what Edanne had actually said, and the corners of his mouth turned upward into a smile.

Yalu:  No, I didn’t know that.  ::beat, smiling:: I mean, we serve together and we get on well, but I didn’t realize– ::beat:: I’m honoured.

Etan (as E. Yalu):  Don't take advantage of that now, Yogan. He's fond of you. ::she cautioned with a knowing smile and then patted his hand.::

Yalu:  Being a big brother is a responsibility.  I promise I’ll take it seriously.

Etan (as E. Yalu):  Out there among the stars, ::she said pointing towards the sky as though the stars themselves could be seen.:: it can get lonely I imagine. You need family around you.

(( Timeskip – Nahx Café, Leran Manev, Trill – a few hours later ))

The sun was setting and casting the sky in a blaze of pinks, oranges, and purples.  Yogan was equally exhilarated and exhausted from his first day of zhian’tara, and he wasn’t yet ready to go back to his hotel and turn in for the night.  Instead, he’d invited Iljor to join him at the café across the square.  The two had just sat down at an outdoor table when something happened that Yogan found too amusing to keep to himself.

Yalu:  ::chuckles::  You want to hear something funny?

Iljor looked up from his beverage- a cup of herbal tea that had long since chilled the point where it was now green water and a soggy teabag. He had been a world away, another lifetime maybe, lost in a sea of his own thoughts. He had been reflecting on his experiences during Yogan's zhian'tara. Sharing his consciousness had been a thought provoking experience. Some humans referred to it as an 'out of body experience'. Iljor was not quite sure it was the right idiom for what had happened, but whatever it had been was profound.

Etan:  Hm? ::he tilted his head to one side, questioning.::

Yalu:  Edanne’s memories.  ::grins:: It’s strange, but I’m kind of ‘hearing’ them in your voice.

Etan:  Huh. ::it was a simple statement as he returned to staring at his cold tea as he considered what that meant.:: Maybe my neural pathways imprinted on Edanne's pathways. :: he shrugged and then looked up with a wistful smile.:: I'm sure it will pass.

Yalu:  By the way, what were you concerned about?

Iljor's brows knitted together into a confused frown.

Etan:  What do you mean? I'm not following.

Yalu:  Edanne mentioned that you were concerned about something she said to me.

He felt a look of realisation dawn upon his face which was quickly followed by the reddening of his cheeks.

Etan:  Oh, that. :: he shifted uncomfortably.:: Well, it's just…. its nothing.

Yogan was curious, but he didn’t want to pry.  As much as this was his zhian’tara, he was also mindful that sharing one’s consciousness with a deceased Trill would be a rare, if not unique, event in the lives of each volunteer.  They would likely need just as much time to process the experience as Yogan would.  He leaned forward, resting his arms on the table, then spoke softly in a “this is just between us” kind of tone.  Hopefully, Iljor would know that this was a safe space.

Yalu:  No worries if you don’t want to talk about it.  But if you do...

Etan: Well it's just…. you were so kind to me when I came onboard and you made me feel so welcome. I just…. I just don't want anything to happen to you. Wh-which is what happens when somebody seizes the day. ::he laughed, more out of embarrassment than amusement.:: It's just my way of saying that I think of you as a good friend.

Yogan smiled and did his best to accept the compliment graciously.  Being a good friend and an honorary big brother to Iljor was a privilege and a responsibility that he would take seriously.

Yalu: ::claps a hand on Iljor’s shoulder::  I think the same of you.


Ensign Etan Iljor (embodying Edanne Yalu)
Science Officer
USS Resolution


Lieutenant JG Yogan Yalu
Helm Officer
USS Resolution NCC-78145


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